Knowledge and Resource Hub
22 March 2019

Children's mental health and its predictors in kinship and non-kinship foster care: A systematic review

This review compared the associations of kinship, and non-kinship care with children's mental health. Children in kinship care exhibited better mental health outcomes than those in non-kinship care when making  univariate and bivariate comparisons. However, the associations between kinship care and children's mental health in regression models yielded mixed across studies. The associations depended on the research designs (cross-sectional or prospective longitudinal design) and whether statistical models addressed selection bias and controlled for possible confounding variables. The research also found that child maltreatment related factors, placement related factors, child level factors, foster caregiver level factors, foster family environmental  factors, and neighbourhood factors were associated with foster children's mental health.